Spicy Thai Shrimp and Black Rice Salad

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Kitchenclown recently discovered black rice and is thrilled with this dark discovery.This type of rice originated in China, but is now cultivated in parts of Italy. It’s ¬†aroma while cooking is intoxicating, and it’s chewy texture and nutty flavour add even more appeal. It’s said to have more antioxidants than blueberries, and who wouldn’t want to incorporate all of those characteristics into a healthier diet?

Ingredients:

1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 cup black rice

1 cup fresh pineapple, diced

2 large mangos, peeled and diced

3 scallions, minced

1/2 red pepper, diced

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, minced

3 Tablespoons fish sauce

1 to 2 serrano peppers, stems and seeds removed, finely diced

3 teaspoons brown sugar

2 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press

2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated

juice of 2 small limes

Directions: Place the rice into a lidded pot and cover with 2 cups water. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. As soon as the water comes to a boil, turn the heat down to it’s lowest setting. Cover the pot, and cook for 40 minutes to an hour. Taste for doneness. It should be chewy, but not brittle. If there is any remaining water in the pot, but the rice is the proper consistency, simply pour the rice into a strainer and strain off the excess liquid. Remove to a medium sized bowl and cool.

Bring a small saucepan of water to a gentle simmer. Add shrimp and cook for about a minute, or just until the shrimp turn pink. Immediately remove from heat, drain and set aside.

Dissolve the brown sugar in the fish sauce in a medium bowl. Add the garlic, ginger, serranos, lime juice, mint, cilantro, and red peppers. Toss in the shrimp, along with the mangos and pineapple and mix well. Note: If not serving immediately, do not add the pineapple. The acidity of the pineapple can change the texture of the shrimp, turning it mushy, so wait till serving time to add it.

Add the shrimp mixture to the black rice and mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings and serve either over lettuce leaves, or in individual lettuce cups.

Yield: 6 servings

A trip to the organic farm and the amazing “Stephanie” salad result.

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Kitchenclown took a trip to a local, organic farm, in San Miguel de Allende, La Trinidad, this morning, which inspired the making of this delectable salad. I’m calling it “The Stephanie”, because when my friend, Stephanie, whipped up something similar, my tastebuds jumped with joy!

Ingredients for the salad:

1/2 head red leaf lettuce, washed and dried thoroughly

1/2 head romaine, washed and thoroughly dried

1 bunch arugula, washed, dried, stems removed

2 apples, or pears, sliced thinly

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 cup pecans

1/4 cup sugar( for caramelizing the pecans)

5 oz.bleu cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup pitted dates

1/4 red onion, thinly sliced

For the dressing:

1/3 cup olive oil

3 to 4 Tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 clove garlic, pressed through a garlic press

1 1/2 teaspoons dijon mustard

Place the  oil, vinegar,salt, pepper, garlic and mustard in a jar. Put a lid on it, and shake it up, until mulsified. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt, or vinegar if necessary. Tear the greens into bite sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Place the pecans,along with the sugar, into a small saute pan and cook, stirring often, until the sugar is melted, and the nuts are caramelized. Let cool. When cooled, add the nuts, cranberries, pears, or apples, dates, red onion and bleu cheese to the greens. Slowly drizzle the dressing over all, just adding enough to coat it.Whatever you do, do not drown it in dressing. Kitchenclown frowns on soggy salads!

Yield: 8 servings